On Monday 25th July, I started my third cycle of my chemo. This was a big milestone for me because it brings me closer to the doctors repeating the CT scan and finalising an operation date. Whilst the repeat CT scan and the pending operation are scary, the fact that my tumor markers have now come down to 58 brings me hope!
During my consultation with the doctor prior to starting to chemo we went through the regular checks and penciled in a date for the CT scan, meeting the professor in charge of my chemo, meeting my surgeon and a possible 4th round of chemo. She prepared me for the fact that based on CT scan my professor might decide to attack ‘Cyril’ a bit more prior to my operation. This is not a bad thing. It means that the operation will be made easier. My doctors will not know if they are going to do this until they repeat my scan.
For this chemo session, it was lovely to welcome my great auntie to the usual crew. She is a fun-loving person who always makes me laugh. UNO was the game of choice for my brother Josh, my boyfriend Jonny and myself. My meds must have been extra powerful yesterday because I beat Jonny (twice) and he’s known to win any game that you play with him! Overall the chemo session went smoothly. Although it was the start of a new cycle, I didn’t have Avastin (Bevacizumab) which is one of the chemo drugs I usually have at the start of each cycle. The Cancer Research UK website gives a good explanation about Avastin; I have copied it below:
Bevacizumab targets a cancer cell protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This protein helps cancers to grow blood vessels, so they can get food and oxygen from the blood. All cancers need a blood supply to be able to survive and grow. Bevacizumab blocks this protein and stops the cancer from growing blood vessels, so it is starved and can’t grow. Doctors call treatments that interfere with the development of a blood supply anti angiogenesis treatments.
I didn’t have the Avastin yesterday because I am too near the point of surgery. It shouldn’t be used for at least 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed as it can slow down the healing process.
I felt quite drained after this week’s chemotherapy session, as you can see from the photograph of me on the sofa. I lay down intending to watch my daily dose of Neighbours but ended up sleeping through the whole thing! I woke up with an appetite (which doesn’t always happen at the moment) so I took advantage of this and tucked into a my new favourite meal…hoisin duck and pancakes with a twist. The twist being the duck is turkey. Eight (ok nine) pancakes later, I felt much better. A good meal definitely helps to boost your mood!
I would like to finish by saying fighting ‘Cyril’ is a bumpy journey. You have to be prepared for changes to your treatment plan. I was reminded of this on Monday when I was told about the possibility of a 4th chemo cycle prior to my operation. Tony Robbins, the motivational speaker, says, “Your life is controlled by what you focus on.” This is an important quote because I am not going to focus on changes to my treatment plan; instead I am focused on the end goal. That is to say, saying goodbye to ‘Cyril’ in my ovaries once in for all!
If you would like to read more about chemotherapy for ‘Cyril’ in the ovaries, have a look at the links below.